Tim's December 2013 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! With the Government shutdown impacting everything from closing our national parks and war memorials to last minute decisions on whether our Falcons and the USNA Squids would play each other in football, it was rewarding to be able to write this column with some assurance that the Checkpoints editor and his staff would not be sitting home on furlough. For the “leaders” who brought us to this current state of affairs, we offer a heartfelt reprise that is expressed so eloquently and simply in our unofficial USAFA Postgame cheer!

To all classmates, spouses, progeny, and significant others out there in Checkpoints Land who were able to attend and participate in the Class of 1968’s 45th Reunion, please send photos (with names of those in the photos), stories of events, incidents, police blotter activity, good jokes, etc. to your humble scribe and our webmaster (Pat Russell) for use in future class columns and articles on the class website. This will make much better up-to-date reading and viewing than the “news” I have been sending you from 2012 holiday correspondence. And, while I’m in the requesting mode, your 2013 holiday correspondence and photos would be appreciated, too! Thank you for your kind consideration of this public service announcement.

“68er’s ‘Firstie’ Cadet Car Finally Arrives Four-and-Half Decades Late.”

68ER’S NEW VETTE ZOOMS HIM TO NEW “HITES”: With an attitude of better late than never, Dan and Wendy Hites sent this “eat your heart out” photo of them cruising along in their brand new, sleek, grey, over–the-speed-limit-capable Corvette. Dan said it was really the “Firstie” car he thought about having in the day and Wendy clearly sees this as her 44th wedding anniversary gift from Dan. So, if you want to get into an interesting conversation when you see the two of them, be sure to ask Dan and Wendy who the Vette really belongs to. BTW: The license plate reads: “ZOOM 68.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT COURTESY OF FOUR TROLLS: In a short note from Pat Russell, I received word that a brain-child of former 20th Squadron Trolls Mike Parkinson and Mark Wise led to a finding and gathering of information by Steve McPhail and Ken Stewart who, in-turn, were able to convince nearly all of their CS20 classmates to submit a short biography and current photo of themselves that would be available for viewing at our 45th reunion. Participants in this endeavor include: Bill Buford, Rock Buraglio, Mike Chapman, Charles Duncan, Mike Evans, Dick Ewers, Jim Farley, David Helgevold, Pat Hurley, Derek Iverson, Vern McGraw, Steve McPhail, Don Mrosla, Mike Parkinson, Wayne Rowell, Dick Ruffing, Karl Smith, Ken Stewart, and Don Windham.

As suggested by Pat, this would seem to be a great way to capture some fleeting personal data about the character and accomplishments of our class over the years and would provide us with a more recent rendition of classmates’ appearances than the photos contained in our graduation yearbook. So, for those with some time on their hands, I extend a challenge on behalf of the Tough 20 Trolls 45 years later to make similar efforts from the other graduating squadrons for purposes of a more complete history of our class. If you would like to view the Trolls’ work, go to the following link on our class website: http://usafa68.org/Reunions/45Reunion/re23.htm.

“Post 2013 USAFA-USNA Game Tailgate at Mike’s in Riva, Maryland. L-R: Tim Davidson, Judi & Steve McPhail, Thuy & Bob Johnston, Cathy & Brooke Bailey, and Wendy & Dan Hites.” Photo by Wendy Hites.

COLD BEER AND GOOD SEAFOOD ARE WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED: Coming within two days of being cancelled by the Government shutdown in October, the USAFA-USNA football game took place on a clear October morning with bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-80s. As has been our custom for the past six years, Brooke and Cathy Bailey and Bob and Thuy Johnston drove up from their homes in North Carolina and stayed with me at Chez Davidson for the weekend of the game. Brooke did the driving from Northern Virginia to Annapolis, while the rest of us played “Name That Tune” as we listened Brooke’s IPod playlist on the congested highway of game day. When we arrived, we were greeted by Judi and Steve McPhail, Dan and Wendy Hites, Buck and Linda McCants, and Jim Seevers. There was even a Mike Wagner sighting near one of the refreshment booths, but we did not get to spend much time with him while at the stadium.

Our Falcons played a great 30 minutes to start the game and led in offensive yards gained and the score when they went into the locker room at half-time. Unfortunately, they were required to play a second half and their performance for the final 30 minutes was not quite as laudable. Our exit strategy after the game worked to perfection. Brooke secured a great parking spot and had the car positioned to enter traffic rapidly. With skill, cunning, and riding very closely to the bumper of the car in front of us, we successfully trekked to Mike’s Seafood Restaurant and Crab Shack in Riva, Maryland, as we have been doing as a Class since the 1980s. The seafood was great and the cold beverages were exactly what the doctor ordered. At any rate, it certainly helped to ease our disappointment in the outcome of the game. As we have learned over the last few years, the adage “Wait until next year!” will have to serve as our mantra until the 2014 football season.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: We pray that all who attended our 45th Reunion returned home safe and sound and that the blessing of renewed relationships and fond memories will continue to kindle warm feelings and camaraderie within our fellow classmates and friends throughout the New Year.

THAT’S A WRAP: Mind the flak; keep ‘em flying, and keep those cards, letters, e-mails, and photos coming in to Pat Russell and me. Send photos and stories from our 45th! Ciao for now. Tim

Return to Scribe's Page